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3M 5100 Black Reflective: Failing?!?

Discussion in 'Vinyl' started by MikePro, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

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    Racine, WI
    Approx. 60 directional signs, across multiple campuses, with black reflective vinyl that we change fairly regularly. So, for a recent complete overhaul of the signage (new paint jobs, removal/reinstall @ different locations) we decided to use the 3M 5100series reflective vinyl with "white removeable adhesive, 7yr outdoor durability", to help us save the client costs when updates are made.

    We've always gone with standard engineering-grade, with the metallic backing/adhesive (solvent polyacrylate), and has worked great. No failures for nearly a decade. Just a PITA to remove, especially in the cold winter months, and a lot of mess to clean-up afterwards. Shame we will be reverting-back, but if I cannot trust the vinyl to last then there's no point in doing it at all.

    Pictures from approx. 18months after install, all north-facing panels (south-facing hasn't a single failure...yet. odd, since you'd figure east/west facing would be the only culprit, if at all), the vinyl seems to be de-laminating from the adhesive and curling-back/chipping-away. Will follow-up with supplier and/or 3M, as we will be fixing asap at no cost to our client, but figured I'd post to see what everyone else's experiences have been with this stuff...or possible recommendations for alternatives that will last at least 5+ years:
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  2. ThinkRight

    ThinkRight Active Member

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    Atlanta Ga
    3M is close enough to you.
    Have someone there go look at it with you.
     
  3. Gino

    Gino Major Contributor

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    You might want to consider since it's peeling from the tops only, that something else might be the culprit.
     
  4. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

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    Racine, WI
    best guess would be salt from the roads, splashed onto the sign face during the winter months? (only failing graphics happen to be street-side, and facing oncoming traffic)

    I've replaced one entire face and all other failing graphics on this particular campus with the 5100R, and another face entirely with the clear adhesive-backed 5100 as a "sample"(couldn't just replace a few lines, as they are different shades of black).

    I will revisit this thread with more info from 3M/supplier and the 18-month "outcome".
     
  5. ChadK

    ChadK New Member

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    Sep 10, 2012
    I'm sorry for the inconvenience this has caused you. It sounds like you’ve already taken the most important step, which is to going to your distributor, so we can get the necessary samples and possibly have someone come look at it to follow up on this complaint.

    From the pictures, it's hard to tell what could be causing this. If there is a delamination failure, it usually occurs on more than one side of a graphic. Is this only happening on the top edges? Was a recommended 3M prespace tape used for the application? Is it possible the north side (new paint job) just didn't dry as quickly before applying the graphic?

    Can I give you a call and talk to you more about this?

    You've probably seen these already, but here is the instruction bulletin and product bulletins to compare notes with your application.

    Chad Klostermanm,
    3M Commercial Graphics
     
  6. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

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    Racine, WI
    outgas?
    yes. first and last time we didn't wait for paint to outgas prior to application (matthews acrylic polymer) , resulted in bubbling of the reflective graphics within an hour or two of application.

    3M prespacing tape?
    no. I don't even think any of our suppliers offer 3M transfer tape. We use R-Tape with conform and highly unlikely the culprit. But I get where you might be going with this :)
     
  7. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

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    Racine, WI
    Delamination is a first for us, however. Shy of some of our printables, we're 3M across the board, and never this issue for the twenty years I've been here. So its really odd that the only common variable in this new material that is failing, amongst 8/60 lines of copy, 5/14 different signs, on 3/4 different sides of campus, happens to be north faces... while graphics facing all other directions appear fine, for now.

    I'll PM you my contact info.
     
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